Construction Cost Estimating
The contract is much more than just words on paper, it is a document that protects, oversees and delineates the responsibilities of the parties on both sides of the table. It is what makes the bid valid. It cannot be stressed enough that the contract needs to be clear-cut and precise. Therefore, there are usually only a few people involved in the negotiation process and oversee the contract in general. The rules of integrity, ethics, and overall conduct are principally important. Contrary to popular belief, the bidding process is easy. It is when the minute details are actually translated into a legal manuscript, is when both sides of the agreement are in the most need to be accurate in their intentions. There are duties, responsibilities, risks, and expectations as a contract representative in a company or even in your own home that are a part to ensuring a contractual relationship is a successful one.
A contract is not just a few sheets of paper of legalese and a “to do list” for a project. It is a document that creates a relationship between entities for goods and services. It is project management at its finest – if done correctly. The bidding process may be done, but the hard part is getting into the minute details that are mutual promises (considerations) defining the rights and responsibilities of each party. The sociology of a project rests in the hands of both parties. The people make the project work. Roles and Responsibilities
“As anyone involved in the industry knows, the project manager is responsible for the performance of the project with respect to the goals of cost and schedule” (Heisler). A project manager in this instance is the contracting officer representative or the homeowner, hereafter to be referred to as a COR, must have some level of expertise in the area of the bid to ensure that all requirements, regulations, orders, and applicable procedures are followed. This effectively safeguards the interest of the contractual relationship with complete compliance of the terms and conditions. CORs should take the lead in encouraging the business process, not to be consistently looking over the shoulder of the contractor, but to ensure that any decisions that are made are sound. While not all homeowners take a class in contracting, they have the same responsibility of a COR in any large business area to: * Monitor performance,
* Evaluate work as it progresses,
* Exercise appropriate direction within the scope of the contract, and (most importantly) * Inspect and accept the work upon its completion.
From an administrative view, the COR should keep in contact with supervisors, (or in the case of the homeowner a spouse), to keep them abreast of the project – changes, updates, dismissal of the contractor – maintain a file of all decisions/financial obligations, and be an overall wealth of knowledge for the contractor to come to with questions or concerns. In labor related issues, the COR’s main responsibility is to monitor the schedule and ensure the contractor adheres to it. In so many projects, the schedule is not followed and money is spent to either continue or stop-work on the contract. While in private contracts, there is little need for the homeowner to see that proper posters for job safety and protection are visible, in the business world, Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Service Contract Act, and various other informational posters are to be posted in highly trafficked areas. The employees are to have easy access to this information. Additionally, there is a need to ensure that the contractor enforces all health and safety requirements. Regarding the inspection process, this is not necessarily about inspection and permits; this is in direct accordance of whether or not the contract is being followed. Specifically: * Ensure that...